What do IFSC and MICR Codes of Banks denote?

Let us understand what IFSC and MICR codes actually represent and how to find them in an instant.

Apr 01, 2020 10:04 IST India Infoline News Service

In this age of online payments and transfers, we definitely have heard of IFSC code and MICR codes being asked of us quite frequently. Let us understand what these codes actually represent and how to find them in an instant.

IFSC Code
IFSC is the abbreviation for Indian Financial System Code and represents the 11-digit character that you can usually see on your bank’s cheque leaves or other bank-sponsored material. It is an 11-digit code with
  • the first 4 characters being the abbreviation of the bank
  • control character in the fifth place
  • then the branch code will represent the last 6 characters.
IFSC code is an alphanumeric code that is used to identify the particular branch of a participating bank in either of the popular electronic fund's settlement options in India, namely RTGS and NEFT.

Where can you find the IFSC code of a particular bank?
You can find IFSC code of a bank in 3 ways:
  • You can find the code on the cheque and passbook provided by the bank
  • You can get code on the website of respective bank
  • You can get the IFSC Code on the website of RBI
MICR Code
MICR stands for Magnetic Ink Character Recognition technology. The MICR code is a 9-digit numeric code that uniquely identifies a bank-branch participating in the ECS credit scheme. ECS credit is used by an institution for affording credit to a large number of beneficiaries (for instance, employees, investors, etc.) having accounts with bank branches at various locations within the jurisdiction of an ECS centre by raising a single debit to the bank account of the user institution. ECS credit enables payment of amounts towards distribution of dividend, interest, salary, pension, etc., of the user institution. It is primarily used to authenticate the originality and legality of paper-based documents in the banking system. In terms of their real-world importance, MICR stands on par with IFSC where the transfer of funds using NEFT or IMPS is concerned.

MICR code is generated in the following manner
  • The very first digits of MICR denote city and are identical to the first three digits of your pin code.
  • The next three digits of MICR code i.e. 4-6 digits denote bank code.
  • The next three digits of MICR code i.e. 7-9 digits denote bank branch code.
Where can you find your MICR code?
You can identify the MICR Code of a bank in 2 ways:
  • You can find the code at the bottom of the cheque and passbook provided by the bank
  • You can get this code on the website of respective bank

Difference between IFSC and MICR code
IFSC Code MICR Code
IFSC is an 11-character alphanumeric code. MICR is a 9-digit code.
IFSC is used to facilitate electronic fund transfers between banks and individuals in India. MICR code is to make cheque processing more efficient.
The first 4 characters indicate the name of the bank. The first 3 digits represent the city code where the bank branch is located.
Last 6 digits represent the bank branch location. Last 3 digits indicate the code of the bank branch.

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